Get to Know Your Prefects: Cole C. ’16

Cole is a boarding student from Canada and lives in Merritt South.  He is also a member of the first boys’ hockey team.

  1. Why did you choose Ridley?

coleI chose Ridley for a number of reasons. First and foremost, going to a school is about academics. Having knowledge of something never leaves you; whereas, ability in a sport will. Having said that, another reason I chose Ridley was because of the hockey program. This starts with Coach Mike McCourt, who has shone a lot of light on the program in the last five years and most recently added a MPHL Championship to his resume. Hockey has always been a huge part of my life and my family and I felt Ridley did an excellent job of combining both of my passions.

  1. Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

I felt prepared for the transition. Usually going to a new school is a tough social transition, but the atmosphere and inclusion of everyone into activities such as café or snake dance, truly connects the entire school body and leaves no room for one to be excluded.

  1. What are your plans after graduation? (i.e. university, college, gap year…degree of study, city you plan to live in, extracurricular pursuits)

After graduation I am planning on studying Biochemistry at University. It is my aspiration to then use that degree and apply to veterinarian school. Growing up on a farm, animals have always been a part of my life, and I feel that a career path as a vet can best combine my passion for science through animals.

  1. Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

I believe Mr. Reimer is one of my favourite faculty members. I can understand why he has been teaching at Ridley for over 25 years and to me this is because he is a very personable teacher. He is not shy to share a story or tale from his past and as a physics teacher he often combines real life scenarios with lessons. This allowed me to relate what was being taught in the course and apply it to real life. Having said this, all faculty members at Ridley are superb people.

  1. What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley has been balancing my academics with sports. Ridley is one of the most athletic schools in Canada and because of that each student colehockeyathlete learns how to be successful in juggling athletics and academics.

6. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

My greatest accomplishment at Ridley this year was being part of a winning hockey team that won a championship, the first major hockey league title for Ridley since 1974. This was a huge accomplishment for our team and I was honoured to be apart of it.

  1. How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has taught me how to ready myself for the biggest challenge and choice I am going to face at this point in my life – where I want to go to university and what program I would like to study. Through academics and athletics, I believe Ridley teachers and coaches are providing students with opportunities for them to be the best they can be.

  1. What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favourite part of Ridley (chapel, rowing, your house)?

My house has definitely been a great experience for me thus far at Ridley. Being away from home for the first time in my life, I was concerned as to how I would handle the distance. The atmosphere in the house and the camaraderie among all the boys made my transition very easy. House events such as game nights, camp and sports day help the boys to bond at an early time in the year, and those bonds stick with you for the rest of the year.


  1. What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?

Ridley has taught me a lot of little things that I feel have positively influenced me. Time management is a huge factor when you live on campus. You need to be able to prioritize and schedule your time so you get what you need done, yet still have time for yourself.

  1. What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone! When you try new things you truly figure out what you do and don’t love about life. Ridley gives you the opportunity to learn about life and about yourself.

Ridleians of Distinction: Christopher Potter ’80

It’s Wednesday and we are celebrating our alumni! Today we are featuring actor, Christopher Potter ’80.


As a child, Potter’s parents instilled in him, a love of academics, art and athletics. He was in his 20’s before he realized this. His professional acting career began seemingly overnight. He was ‘discovered’ in an amateur play and swept into the professional world of acting. He worked as a stockbroker in Europe and in Canada, while continuing to perform in amateur theatre productions. He caught the attention of Martha Henry, one of Canada’s leading actresses, who cast him in the Canadian production of Biloxi Blues in Toronto. Potter won rave reviews and within a month landed a leading role in the CBC television series Material World(1990). He made a name for himself in television starring in two long-running popular dramatic series, which at one point let to him appearing on screen in two different roles at the same time. He played David Carradine’s son and crime fighting partner in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993), and starred as a hard-hitting police sergeant for three years in USA Network’s Silk Stalkings (1991), for which he also served as an episode director. He is known for being an actor with a flair for edgy and unconventional roles. In 2001, he received the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival Award for best actor for his first feature film role in the drama Rockets’ Red Glare (2000). Currently, he plays Tim Fleming, on the hit Canadian drama Heartland.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

We’re Here for You! Support System at Ridley College

At some point or another, every student goes through significant changes and challenges in different areas of their life.  One of the advantages of being part of the Ridley community is having access to an extensive support system that helps students develop the skills to address these challenges most effectively.

As a part of the House System here at Ridley, each House has a Head of House (or Housemaster) living in a family home attached to one of the ten boarding houses here on campus. There’s also an Assistant Head of House living in an apartment within the residence building. Students living in the Houses are free to knock on their Housemaster or Assistant Housemaster’s door any time, day or night, if they have a problem. Each House also has a number of Masters on Duty, many of whom live in residence on campus here at Ridley. These MODs are often local university students and their main duties involve supervising evening study in the House with which they’re affiliated.


On top of this, every teacher at Ridley helps with evening duty in one of the Houses of Ridley. Members of the faculty also advise a group of around six to eight students in the same House. These advisory groups meet once a week during the academic day for about 45 minutes where they discuss issues and upcoming events that are common to the group, like healthy living, study tips, and signing up for community service activities. During this time, advisors also meet with students individually to talk about matters that are more specific to each student, such as challenges they may be facing in the classroom or difficulties they may be having with their roommate. Advisors are the main point of contact for parents, and are a great resource as they are uniquely familiar with Ridley life and will know quite a bit about each of the students in their advisory group both in terms of their academic progress and their social life.

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For any concerns that are more specific to physical and mental health, students are encouraged to visit the Health Centre. Located behind School House and Dean’s House, the Health Centre has Registered Nurses available 24/7. They are some of the warmest and friendliest people on campus, and they are careful to keep all information that students share confidential. A physician is also on campus four days a week, and is available 24 hours a day for emergencies by phone. In addition to the Health Centre, Ridleians are lucky to have a fantastic Athletic Therapist (located in the Fieldhouse) to assist students with any sports-related injuries.


One area that every Ridley student is involved in some capacity is athletics. At Ridley, all students will have different coaches for each of their sports. Coaching at Ridley is a lot more than pushing teams to win; it focuses on developing personal mastery of skill, leadership and interpersonal experience, and respect for the game they play. With that in mind, coaches are a great resource to discuss any issues relating to social life in and out of practice, physical and emotional wellness, and personal progress.


Apart from all of the adult mentors in the Ridley community, there are a number of student leaders who are dedicated to helping fellow Ridleians deal with challenges they may be facing. In many situations, student leaders like elected Prefects and House Captains may be in the best position to give advice to students because they’ve lived through many of the same experiences others could be struggling with. Senior student leaders at Ridley are very approachable and easy to connect with at any time. There are Prefects and House Captains involved in all areas of school life – from sports teams to theatre to community service groups. If they can’t help you solve a problem, they’ll certainly be able to direct you to an adult (Housemaster, advisor, nurse, coach) that can.

Written By Liz Gross ’14

Get To Know Your Prefects: Ulrich M. ’16

ulrichToday on the blog – getting to know your Prefects. The Prefects are the student leaders of Ridley College. Ulrich is a boarding student from Germany and is a member of the Ridley Rowing team.

  1. Why did you choose Ridley?

The first thing I decided that I want to go to a boarding school in Canada. I started searching for schools and I informed myself by talking to friends, who had already experienced living in the community of a boarding school. By the recommendation of Ridley by two of my good friends I got curious what it meant to live at Ridley College. Last spring I had the awesome opportunity to visit the school and to make my own impressions of the college. This was the final step of choosing Ridley College as my future high school.

  1. Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

I really did feel prepared coming to Ridley because of my personal visit of the school and my experiences in a summer school in England. Especially my summer, which I spend in England gave me the first impression of a boarding school and this made me feel more confident coming to Ridley. Also the information about Ridley given to me by my friends, who lived at the school already, helped me to start preparing for Ridley.

  1. What are your plans after graduation? (i.e. university, college, gap year…degree of study, city you plan to live in, extracurricular pursuits)

After graduation I would love to go to university. I am not quite sure yet, which university is my favourite and in which city I want to study, but my future education will be in international business. I am very interested in the University of Maastricht because of the excellent program and the awesome country but I am also interested in American universities like the University of Boston.

  1. Who is your favorite faculty member and why?

It is truly hard to say who is my favorite faculty member but according to last year Father Jason is my personal favorite. He taught me World Religions and reinforced my interest in religion. FJ taught me new information and he gave me the chance to grow off my challenges. As a Chaplin of Ridley College, a teacher and friend he created the perfect mentor and companion for my grade 11 year.

  1. What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge was been to balance academics and athletics. I am a passionate rower, who spends a lot of time and effort on being an athlete, but school is always challenging for me. To keep up with the work and to fulfill my duties in school wasn’t always easy. To handle my academics I sometimes had to take a step back from rowing and set my priorities on school.

In the end I managed to set priorities in my schedule and organize my day by using tips, tricks and help from others, especially my coach to manage school and rowing at the same time.

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  1. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

My greatest accomplishment at Ridley is fitting into the community and learning English. I am very glad and proud that I found so many awesome friends and that I am a member of the Ridley community. But I am also proud to speak English with more confidence and to be more skilled in the language itself.

  1. How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has mainly prepared me for the future by teaching me a foreign language, but there are also lots of other steps where Ridley has helped me that have personally prepared me for the future. For example the excellent preparation for universities by the guidance team and Naviance helped me a lot. In addition to that the boarding school life itself confronted me with challenges and opportunities, which formed my character and prepared me on the path for my future.

  1. What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favourite part of Ridley (chapel, rowing, your house)?

My favourite experience in my time at Ridley was the rowing program. We had a good season with a lot of fun and awesome moments. The athletes and the coaches grew together as a team and we build on each other. With working as a very young and inexperienced team we achieved a lot. Experiencing the Ridley rowing community and program fulfilled my life at Ridley.


  1. What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?

I think the most important things I have learned at Ridley are caring for each other and working as a team. Ridley showed me how to really grow together in the house, the sports team and as a whole. With a number of events and situations in the daily life Ridley showed me how important working together as friends and teammates is. This is a very unique experience and I am very happy to be able to acknowledge this. I am also looking forward to sharing this experience with other students next year.

  1. What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

I would advise future students to find a way to access the Ridley community. For me life at Ridley consists of friendship and teamwork and these are the factors perspective students will experience. It is great to have a number of friends you trust and if the person has a positive attitude to meet new people and learn new skills it will be a great year for the student.

Ridleians of Distinction: Jane Tregunno ’81

It’s Wednesday which means we are profiling Ridleians of Distinction. Today on the blog we are showcasing Ridley’s first female Olympian.


In 1981, Tregunno brought home Ridley’s first Canadian Girl’s Championship in a singles scull. She got her start with the Canadian national rowing team in 1978, when she won a bronze medal in the coxed eights at the 1978 Junior World Championships. She upgraded to gold the following year and was selected to compete at the 1980 Summer Olympics, but stayed home after Canada joined the boycott of those Games. In 1981 she placed fourth in the coxed eights event at the Senior World Championships. She switched to the coxed fours for the 1983 edition and finished fourth with her team before attending the 1984 Summer Olympics, where she won a silver medal alongside her teammates. She then captured gold and bronze medals in the event at the 1986 Commonwealth Games and World Championships respectively. This quintet, came in sixth at the 1987 World Championships, and then finished seventh in the coxed eights at the same tournament. Tregunno’s final major international tournament was the 1988 Summer Olympics, where her 1987 crew placed seventh in the coxed fours. Tregunno-Stamp is now an accountant in Guelph, Ontario.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Cassidy ’16

CassidyCassidy is a bording student from Canada. She is on the rowing team at Ridley and is a member of Gooderham West House.

  1. Why did you choose Ridley?

I was looking for a school that would be able to accommodate both my rowing and academic interests, which I was struggling to achieve with at home. After taking a tour at Ridley, I knew it was where I wanted to go.

  1. Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

Not really! I had never left home or lived somewhere else without my parents for long periods of time – not even to an overnight summer camp! Needless to say, I was really nervous about becoming a full boarder. After my first year, I realized there was nothing to worry about. The girls in my house have become my family – you can always count on them and the adults in our house (Housemaster, Assistant Housemaster, etc.) to always be there for you. The houses are very welcoming and friendly; the homesickness doesn’t last too long here, so there’s nothing to be worried about.

  1. What are your plans after graduation? (i.e. university, college, gap year…degree of study, city you plan to live in, extracurricular pursuits)

After graduation I plan to attend university. Right now I would like to stay in Canada for post-secondary education. I’m really interested in going to either the East or West coast for schooling. As for which program I want to take, I’m still not certain, but I am interested in pursuing an education that involves Law and History.

  1. Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

There have been so many different faculty members that have positively affected my experience at Ridley thus far. Many teachers have inspired and encouraged me to push my limits, explore new ideas, and stick with things even when it’s something that I struggle with. However, I would have to say that my favourites would be the residential faculty members in my house. They are always there for you, support you, and help you out with whatever you need. They do so much for you and I have personally become very close with them.

  1. What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

CassI think that my greatest challenge has been adjusting to the fast-paced lifestyle here at the school. Coming from a semestered high school, it was quite different to switch to eight yearlong classes. Managing schoolwork with sports, activities, and a social life has been quite the adjustment, but it has really taught me how to prioritize and balance many things effectively.

  1. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

Adjusting to the whole Ridley lifestyle has been my greatest challenge, which is why it has subsequently become my greatest accomplishment. The culture and vibe at the school is very different from what I was used to and it took longer to become accustomed to it. The schedule is quite full (with academics, athletics, activities, volunteer work, meetings, socializing, etc.) and adjusting to the fast pace is challenging at first, but becomes very rewarding in the end. It becomes easy to absorb everything you want out of the Ridley experience and feel like you’ve achieved something great by the end of the year.

  1. What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favourite part of Ridley?
Girls of Gooderham West at MNO Music Night

My favourite part of Ridley so far has been my house. Initially, being a full time boarder was difficult; I wasn’t able to see my parents as often, and it was the first time I was living away from home. However the girls and residential members in my house have literally become my family away from home. Living in G-West has been one of the most amazing parts of being at the school.


  1. What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?

Ridley has taught me so many different things. It’s funny because I’ll get these moments here and there where I realize, “That’s definitely something I’ve learned from being at Ridley.” In so many ways, Ridley has taught me to be a better person. It’s taught me to push myself and not put limits on what I can do. It’s showed me how to be a better leader and a friend to everyone. Being at Ridley has made me realize the potential I have and inspires me to be a better person.

  1. What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

Challenge yourself, take the chance, and immerse yourself into the life here at Ridley. It’s a decision you won’t regret.

Ridleians of Distinction: Sir John Bell ’71

It’s Wednesday and we are featuring Ridleians of Distinction on the blog! Today we are profiling Sir John Bell from the Class of 1971.
Sir John Bell Ridley College GraduateBell graduated from the University of Alberta in 1975, and then studied medicine on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. In 1982, he took up a position as Clinical Fellow in Immunology with Hugh McDevitt at Stanford University, California, USA, where he worked on histocompatibility antigens and autoimmune disease. In 1987 Bell returned to Oxford as a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow, and joined the Institute of Molecular Medicine, founded by David Weatherall. In 1992 he succeeded Weatherall as the Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine and, in 2002, became the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. In 1994, Bell was one of the founders of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and a student of Christ Church College. Bell’s research has identified genes involved in susceptibility to diabetes mellitus type 1, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. His work has been important in elucidating the interactions on the surface of the T cell involved in immune activation. He has also worked on the biomedical applications of high-throughput genomic technologies, including structural genomics and ENU mutagenesis. He has been directly involved in applying genetics in a clinical setting and helped develop the 100,000 genome project in England. Bell was awarded an honorary D.Sc. by the University of Alberta in 2003. He was President of the Academy of Medical Sciences from 2006-2011. In 2008, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), and was knighted for services to medicine in the New Year Honours of that year. Since 2011 he has been one of two Life Sciences Champions for the UK, reporting to the Prime Minister.  He was made a Knight Grand Cross (GBE) for his services to medicine, medical research and the UK life science industry in the New Year Honours in 2015.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Athletics at Ridley College by Elizabeth Gross ’14

There are lots of options when it comes to sports at Ridley.  There’s an extensive array of competitive sport options to choose from.  Annually, Ridley fields more than 45 competitive teams from under-12 softball in the Lower School to first team basketball. Some teams play in only one term of the school year while others compete or train in all three terms.


Alongside Ridley’s competitive offerings, there’s also a Sport for Life program offered in all three terms.  Students who participate in SFL programming may focus on one activity or rotate through a couple of different sports throughout the term.  In the past, SFL participants have tried activities like fitness bootcamp, field hockey, sailing, yoga, spin classes, power walking, and golf.


As a former Ridley student, I had the opportunity to try all three options – competitive sports, Sport for Life, and non-sport options.  Since grade five, I’ve played on the field hockey team at Ridley.  Once I got to Upper School, I started playing on the First (varsity) Team.  We practiced for about an hour and a half every day after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with our coaches.  We had both home and away games on certain Wednesdays and Saturdays.  One of my favourite Ridley memories was the trip our team took to Victoria, BC for the CAIS Field Hockey Tournament in my grade eleven year.

Field Hockey Team in BC
Field Hockey Team in BC

In all four years of Upper School, I spent the second term participating in the winter musical.  In my grade nine year, I played Amber in Hairspray, and from grade ten to twelve, I stage managed Little Shop of Horrors, Blood Brothers, and Once Upon a Mattress.  I enjoyed performing, but I especially loved learning how to run lights and sound in the Mandeville Theatre while coordinating the other technical aspects of the show.

Ridley College Musical Production: Blood Brothers
Ridley College Musical Production: Blood Brothers

In the third term of my grade nine and ten year, I tried rowing.  Ridley has a long and proud history of involvement with the sport.  We’re lucky to have our own boathouse on Henley Island as well as an ergometer room in the Griffith Sports Complex and an indoor rowing tank offsite.  In my grade nine year, I rowed in the senior women’s four, and in my grade ten year, I rowed in the junior women’s four and eight. We spent a lot of time rowing on the water in Martindale Pond, and also did cardio and strength training as well as ergometer workouts on land.  Ridley rowing is an example of a sport that runs all three terms and may include additional practices early in the morning for athletes as they train for ergometer competitions and regattas throughout the year.


In grade eleven and twelve, I participated in the third term Sport for Life programme. The SFL season starts off with participants rotating through the different SFL options in order to help them decide which one they’d like to sign up for.  In my grade eleven year, I participated in the SFL field hockey/cardio training option and in my grade twelve year, I joined the fitness bootcamp/power walking group.

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned from my Ridley sports experience is the importance of staying active and involved in the community beyond just the classroom. Whether you already play on a competitive team or are totally new to the world of sports, Ridley has a place for you to participate, develop athletic skills and be physically active.

To learn more about Ridley athletics, please click here

Get to Know Your Prefects: Luca ’16

Luca has been a member of the Ridley family since Grade 4. He is a day student, but a proud member of Dean’s House. He is also a member of the debating team.


  1. Why did you choose Ridley?

Actually, I didn’t choose Ridley. My parents did.   We had moved to St Catharines the year earlier from Yellowknife, NWT and, initially, my parents registered me at a local public school. However, when they learned that Ridley College was opening its doors to Grade 4 students for the first time in its history, my parents made the decision to enroll me. Quite honestly, I wasn’t up for yet another move, but my parents insisted that I give Ridley a try – at least for the first term. I reluctantly agreed. After only the first week, I knew we had a made an excellent decision. I instantly made new friends, my homeroom teacher, Mrs. Clarke, was a wonderful and kind teacher, and everyone made an effort to make me feel welcome. Eight years later, I’m still at Ridley. Overall, I feel there has been a good ‘fit’ between Ridley and myself. I can enthusiastically confirm that I have learned much about various subject areas and cultures as well as valuable life lessons along the way. Even though I am a day student, Ridley has become a ‘home away from home’ for me.

  1. Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

From an academic standpoint, I felt prepared coming to Ridley. I came from a small, private Montessori school in Yellowknife, and it was a very enriched program. I felt confident I could handle whatever the teachers and courses at Ridley threw at me, even if I was only in Grade 4. From a social standpoint, I felt less prepared. Ridley seemed big and had long-standing traditions about which I didn’t know very much at the time. I was nervous and maybe even a bit anxious. However, I adjusted fairly quickly; everyone I met at Ridley made me feel welcome and I think that helped me make a relatively smooth transition.

  1. What are your plans after graduation? (i.e. university, college, gap year…degree of study, city you plan to live in, extracurricular pursuits)

Right after graduation I plan to head to France to watch EURO 2016. It will be the last time one of my favourite soccer players (Andrea Pirlo) will be on the field in the Italian jersey and I have made it a goal to witness that. I intend to resume studies in the fall of 2016 at a university (as yet undecided but with definite preference toward Queen’s University). I hope to major in Anatomy or Human Physiology. My long-term plan is to become a Radiologist.

  1. Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

Although I have been fortunate to have had many knowledgeable teachers who have helped to guide me throughout my Ridley College career, my favourite male faculty member in Upper School is Mr. Geoffrey Park. Mr. Park is a committed and dedicated teacher. He has an ability to connect with students and always manages to inspire them to do their best. I have been fortunate to have had Mr. Park as my Grade 9 Geo teacher, my Grade 10 Math teacher and Grade 11 IB1 Geo teacher. So, I have had many opportunities to learn from him. He has an uncanny sense of humour; we often banter back and forth about our favourite sport, soccer. Mr. Park is a well-liked teacher and is also well-respected by students and faculty alike.

My favourite female faculty member is Mrs. Jessica Roud. She taught me in Grade 10 History and has been Dean’s Housemaster since 2014. Mrs. Roud is an effective motivator, a wonderful Housemaster, and an extraordinary teacher. She’s tough, but fair and expects a lot out of her students. I respect her for that. I know Mrs. Roud has inspired me to be the best student I can be.


  1. What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

Generally, I think being challenged is a good thing. It helps you to grow and to learn new things about your environment and yourself. I think my greatest challenge thus far at Ridley has been time management. I like to be involved in various things and time can become an issue for me. Overall, I actually think I’m pretty good at managing my busy schedule and dealing with priorities, even if they are sometimes competing. But, I found this past year (Grade 11) extremely challenging in this regard.

  1. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

There are a few things that stand out in my mind:

In LS I was awarded the Mason Gold Medal and this was a high honour to receive. I was very proud of this accomplishment because I worked very diligently in all my classes and in the extra-curricular activities. This past year I was awarded the Vimy Scholarship and I was thrilled to be selected. The application process was quite detailed and I was happy to have gone through successfully. Finally, my appointment to the role Prefect is a terrific honour for me. I believe this appointment is the culmination of all the hard work I have put in during my 8 years at Ridley. A school Prefect is supposed to be someone who exemplifies the school motto ‘Terar Dum Prosim’ – May I be consumed in service. I believe I have shown myself to be a strong example of what constitutes a Ridleian.


  1. How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Being at Ridley means coming into contact with all kinds of people from so many places in the world. These days we hear so much said about the ‘global world’, ‘globalization’, etc. Well, I think that at Ridley we are living this experience everyday. In all my classes there are students from no less than 30 different countries. This cultural diversity has a major impact on class discussions. This experience has taught me that the world is big, yet small at the same time.  I think this is important for anyone interested in a professional career because you realize that you must consider problems and solutions in a variety of cultural and political contexts. It’s not okay to make assumptions about what is best or right to do because this can vary from one place to another. On a whole, my experiences at Ridley have helped to keep me open-minded about many things.

  1. What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favourite part of Ridley (chapel, rowing, your house)?

My favourite Ridley experience thus far has been the annual Ridley College Snake Dance. The Snake Dance is basically a wild pep rally to kick off the athletic year. It is probably one of the craziest experiences a Ridley student will ever partake in. Snake Dance has been described as a “pep rally on steroids” – and for anyone who has attended one, you’ll know exactly what I mean. This annual event brings together all students from US, dressed in and painted in orange and black as they huddle around a massive bonfire. I particularly like this tradition because it is one of the few times we can all come together as a student body and celebrate Ridley.

  1. What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?

The most important things I have learned from my time at Ridley include:

  1. to be open-minded about all things;
  2. to try everything at least once (sports, extra-curriculars, academics, etc.) to help broaden you out as a person;
  3. to hold respect for all fellow classmates and teachers, whether I agree with them or not.

10. What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

In the words of Dr. Seuss– “You have to be odd to be #1.”

Don’t be afraid to stand out and express your feelings, opinions and personality. Ridley is a great place to test your abilities, to strengthen your weaknesses and to excel in the things you love to do. Put yourself out there and take advantage of every opportunity to develop yourself on your way to being you.


Ridleians of Distinction: Catherine McDonald ’89

It’s Wednesday and we are featuring Ridleians of Distinction on the blog! Today we are profiling Catherine McDonald from the class of 1989.

Ridley College graduate and Global Toronto reporter Catherine McDonald Catherine McDonald came to Global Toronto in November 2000 and since then has reported on many of the biggest news stories in the GTA. Specializing in crime reporting, she has covered numerous crime stories and helped the station win two national RTNDA awards for best continuing coverage of the Jonathan story, and continuing coverage of the disappearance of Alicia Ross. McDonald’s career highlights include flying in an F-16 with the US Air Force Thunderbirds during the 2001 CNE air show, getting exclusive access onto one of four migrant ships, which landed on Vancouver Island during the summer of 2000 and covering Karla Homolka’s release from prison in the summer of 2005. She was born and raised in Edmonton, but spent three years living in Ottawa in the late 70’s while her father chaired the McDonald Commission into the RCMP. It was there, she was first exposed to the glare of media on Parliament Hill. After attending McGill University in Montréal, she returned to Edmonton where she volunteered for Shaw cable and later attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Radio and Television program. After a few years behind the scenes, she moved in front of the camera, spending nearly two years in Red Deer as a videographer for CTV Edmonton, before moving to CHEK TV, the Global station in Victoria. 18 months later, McDonald landed in Toronto.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.